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Teen fatally shot on Florida college campus after armed confrontation with officers, police say

Alhaji Sow, a sophomore originally from Georgia studying aeronautical science, died from his wounds at the scene of the late Friday shooting.
Syndication: Florida Today
Melbourne police on the scene of a knife attack at the Florida Tech campus on Dec. 4, 2021.Malcolm Denemark / Florida Today via USA Today Network

An 18-year-old student at the Florida Institute of Technology was fatally shot in an armed confrontation with officers over the weekend, police have said.

Alhaji Sow, a sophomore studying aeronautical science at the college, which is based in Melbourne, southeast of Orlando, was shot late Friday, police said in a press release.

The Melbourne Police department said officers responded to the campus after reports of a male allegedly "armed with a knife and assaulting students" around 11 p.m. Friday evening.

Officers and campus security members entered Roberts Hall, a residence hall for freshman, and confronted Sow, who “was armed with an edged weapon," police and school officials said.

During the confrontation, Sow, who was originally from Riverdale, Georgia, allegedly “lunged at the police officer with the weapon." The officer and a security member then both discharged their firearms, striking Sow, police said.

The officers attempted life saving measures, but Sow succumbed to his injuries on scene, they said.

The Melbourne Police officer who opened fire was a 5-year veteran of the department. He sustained an injury in the confrontation but it is not clear what type of injury.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the officer involved shooting. 

The school is arranging counseling and support services for the campus community in the wake of the incident. 

“My heart goes out to everyone in pain. I mourn any loss of life, while I also remain steadfastly thankful for the men and women who invest their lives in protecting us," University President Dr. T. Dwayne McCay said in a statement on Saturday. 

"The safest university campuses are the ones where students, staff, faculty and others look out for one another. We do that at Florida Tech," McCay said.